Foreign Study

The University of Edinburgh hosts the Philosophy FSP each fall term. It is one of Great Britain's finest universities, with a diverse and distinguished faculty. Participants take a seminar with the Dartmouth faculty director and two other courses with Edinburgh professors. All courses count toward a philosophy major or minor. See below for more information. Applications are available online!

Program Information

The University of Edinburgh was established in 1583 and played an important role in the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment. David Hume was a student there, and lifelong resident of Edinburgh. He is considered the most important Anglophone philosopher in history, whose influence is felt even today. Students have the chance to learn about Hume, the Scottish Enlightenment, and the way it has shaped the contemporary world while living in Hume’s home town.

Today, Edinburgh’s world-class department includes over thirty people whose research spans the history of the field and most contemporary subdisciplines. Students take two courses of their choosing with Edinburgh faculty, and one Dartmouth-only seminar with the faculty director. In addition all participants have the opportunity to complete Junior Honors. All courses taken in Edinburgh count toward a philosophy major or minor, and they appear on the transcript as Philosophy 50, 60, and 61. Students can petition the department to have specific courses count toward major/minor distribution requirements.  

Outside of the classroom, participants learn a lot from their fellow undergraduates, who hail from across the United Kingdom and Europe. The Edinburgh Philosophy Society, founded in 1871, is one of the oldest, largest, and best-funded undergraduate philosophy organizations in the world. It hosts many lectures each term, often by world leaders in their fields, in addition to discussion groups on many topics. The Dartmouth faculty director also organizes activities ranging from theater and music performances to museum visits, trips, and dinners that acquaint students with contemporary Scottish life and Edinburgh’s history. A large university in an urban setting, Edinburgh also boasts an impressive range of student clubs, all of which are open to Dartmouth visitors.

Typically, a member of the Edinburgh philosophy department offers a course at Dartmouth in the summer term. Students going to Edinburgh often take this course. The Edinburgh faculty member also participates in summer orientation activities and serves as an advisor to students when they are in Edinburgh that fall.

Students interested in participating in the Philosophy FSP should contact the faculty director with any questions, and apply online at the Guarini Institute’s website.

Prerequisites: FSP participants must complete at least two courses in philosophy at Dartmouth prior to the program, but not necessarily prior to applying. Students must have a 3.0 Dartmouth gpa by the end of the spring term before they participate.

Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

Program Dates: Annual, Fall Term

Living Accommodations: Participants live with other Edinburgh students in university-owned flats.

Curriculum:

PHIL 50: Dartmouth-only seminar taught by the faculty director

PHIL 60: Philosophy course taught by University of Edinburgh faculty

PHIL 61: Philosophy course taught by University of Edinburgh faculty

2017 Fall Faculty Director: Professor David Plunkett

PHIL 50.24: Moral Epistemology

Ethical disagreements range from the ethics of abortion to foundational questions about the basic structure of ethics (such as whether or not consequentialism is true). What is the significance of such disagreements for deciding what to believe in ethics? Do moral disagreements provide support for moral skepticism? How, if at all, can we make progress in ethical inquiry? Parallel questions, as they arise in other domains (e.g. mathematics, political philosophy, and epistemology itself) will be examined.

 

2018 Fall Faculty Director: Professor Timothy Rosenkoetter

PHIL 50.27: Categories

What is there? What are the most fundamental kinds of beings and how are they related to nonfundamental beings? Is it possible to develop a system of categories to identify the highest genera of being and to map the basic structure of reality? Do categories sort extramental entities or concepts or cognitive structures? Are they determined by logic or language? Philosophy is rich with competing attempts to develop categorical systems of reality, cognition, and meaning. This course will examine both historical and contemporary approaches to categories and their importance, including skeptics of the entire undertaking. Authors to be considered may include Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Ockham, Suárez, Kant, Frege, Husserl, Heidegger, Ryle, Chisholm, Strawson, Dummett, Westerhoff, Lowe, and Brandom.